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Worship at B'nai Zion

Friday Night Erev Shabbat Services

Friday night, we begin the celebration of Shabbat with a warm, spiritually uplifting service beginning at 6:00 PM in the sanctuary. The rich mixture of traditional and contemporary music and prayer encourages all to participate. Like all of our services, our  Erev Shabbat liturgy honors both Jewish tradition and the modern egalitarian spirit that is the hallmark of Reform Judaism. We use the small, grey Gates of Prayer siddur (prayer book). During the service, Rabbi Jana will offer inspirational insights and a sermon. Music is led by our Cantorial Soloist Adam Philley (who also plays keyboard) and Rabbi Jana (who also plays guitar). We always conclude our service around 7:00 PM with a delicious Oneg Shabbat: a time to meet with new and old friends and “nosh” on refreshments hosted by the B’nai Zion Sisterhood (contact the office to host an Oneg Shabbat). The Friday evening service is usually streamed “live” and available afterwards at the B’nai Zion YouTube channel.

 

Shabbat Morning Torah Study and Service

On Shabbat morning, we sit around a table and study Torah beginning at 9:45 AM in the parlor. Snacks are provided. Torah Commentary books are available. Rabbi Jana leads a discussion of the Torah portion of the week. Often discussions are accompanied by videos and other media that provide alternate interpretations. The Torah Study is followed by a Shabbat Morning Service that begins around at approximately 11:00 AM. This service is usually a casual, inspirational and learning experience led by Rabbi Jana. At noon we end our worship with Kiddush (wine or grape juice) and challah.

 

KID-dush Shabbat

KID-dush Shabbat is a fun, engaging, half-hour service for families with young children. We sing songs and prayers, move around a lot, listen to a story told by Rabbi Jana, and share some juice and challah. We typically have KID-dush Shabbat from 9-9:30 AM on Saturday mornings once a month.

 

The High Holy Days

The High Holy Days are Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. Jews are forbidden to work on the High Holy Days, and the overwhelming majority attends worship services and family gatherings on these days.

Rosh HaShanah: Rosh means “beginning of” and HaShanah means “the year.” The Jewish New Year marks the beginning of a ten-day period of spiritual renewal known as the Jewish High Holy Days. Rosh HaShanah is marked by worship services, prayers for Divine forgiveness for one’s shortcomings, and the sounding of the shofar. Rosh HaShanah comes on the first day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, which corresponds to the fall in the secular calendar (Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 29:1; and Nehemiah 8:2-3).

Yom Kippur: Yom means “day” and Kippur means “atonement.” Yom Kippur is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. The Day of Atonement begins at sundown on the tenth day of the month of Tishrei. The whole day of Yom Kippur is devoted to fasting, prayer, repentance, reconciliation and forgiveness with our family, friends, neighbors and God. The services include a Yizkor (memorial) service to honor our deceased loved ones. While fasting is important, one may not fast if doing so endangers his/her health (Leviticus 16:30-31; 23:27-32).

B’nai Zion services for the High Holy Days are enhanced by our wonderful choir. We do not require tickets to attend our services. We provide childcare, but also offer services for young children.

 

The Pilgrimage Festivals

B’nai Zion offers a complete schedule of services in observance of the Festivals. The three pilgrimage Festivals were originally associated with travel (pilgrimage) to the ancient Temple in Jerusalem to offer prayers and sacrifices (Exodus 23:14-16; Deuteronomy 16:16). For thousands of years, Jews have observed these Biblical Holy Days by attending services at Synagogues and by gathering with family for sacred celebrations in their homes.

Note: B'nai Zion follows the schedule of Festival observances in accordance with the Biblical instructions and in keeping with the observance of all Jews in Israel. 

Pesach, or Passover, is the seven day spring Festival that celebrates our liberation from Egypt (Exodus 12:17-27; 34:18.) While the Passover seder on the first night is most appropriately in our homes, B’nai Zion offers a congregational seder for members and guests. The Festival concludes on the 7th day with a service in morning. Yizkor, memorial prayers, are recited at the morning of the 7th day.

Shavuot is the “Feast of Weeks.” It comes seven weeks after Passover and marks both the barley harvest and a celebration of the giving of The Decalogue. (Exodus 34:22; Deut. 16:9-10). B’nai Zion traditionally has a Shavuot service on the Shabbat evening closest to Shavuot that is led by the Confirmation class. The morning service on Shavuot includes Yizkor, memorial prayers.

Sukkot is the fall harvest Festival. It lasts for seven days and concludes with the Festival of Shemini Atzeret-Simchat Torah on the eighth day (Leviticus 23:34; Deuteronomy 16:13). Jews eat and many sleep in Sukkot (literally, “booths,” the singular is “Sukkah”) during this Festival. Shake the lulav and etrog in our beautiful sukkah. For Shemini Atzeret-Simchat Torah we will have an evening service on the Shabbat closest to the holy day when we Consecrate our young students, and everyone dances with the Torah scrolls. The morning  service includes Yizkor, memorial prayers.

 

The Minor Festivals: Purim and Hanukkah
Hanukkah and  Purim are celebrated at B’nai Zion with wonderful, family friendly services and programs that glow with the joy and spirit of our heritage. We often have Shabbat Dinner and special services. For Purim there will be a Purim Schpiel – often multi-media, and for Hanukkah each household brings a hanukiyah and we kindle them together before the service.

       Upcoming Events:

All Events
  • Thursday ,
    FebFebruary  27 , 2020
     
     
    Biblical Hebrew

    Thursday, Feb 27th 6:00p to 7:30p
    Learn Hebrew vocabulary and grammar to be able to read Hebrew Scriptures or Prayers and Blessings. Go to www.HebrewDoc.com for Rabbi Jana's online Hebrew Resources

    MORE INFO

  • Friday ,
    FebFebruary  28 , 2020
     
     
    Special Guest Shabbat: Bishop L. Lawrence Brandon & Choir

    Friday, Feb 28th 6:00p to 7:30p
    Bishop L. Lawrence Brandon is Senior Pastor and CEO of Praise Temple and Presiding Bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship, International. It is Bishop Brandon's earnest prayer that every person he comes in contact with is blessed, challenged, inspired and changed. His motto is “We are better together." During Shabbat Evening service he will be our guest speaker at B'nai Zion, and his choir will sing. He is the Chair for this year's Holocaust Remembrance Service (which will be April 19). A special Oneg Shabbat will follow the service, hosted by Rabbi Jana in honor of her 60th birthday.

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  • Tuesday ,
    MarMarch  3 , 2020
     
     
    2020 Van Thyn Lecture 1 of 2

    Tuesday, Mar 3rd 11:10a to 12:00p
    "Truth Can Be Present Even Where Facts are Not: What Holocaust Photographs Can and Cannot Teach Us" This interactive presentation, led by Dr. Valerie Hébert, will highlight the specific advantages and challenges that Holocaust photographs pose to the researcher and student. We will discuss wartime images taken by perpetrators and victim-witnesses. Through these photos, we will also explore the thorny ethical questions about their place in publications, exhibitions, and the classroom. Photographs depicting violence and death will be shown during this lecture. Viewer discretion is advised. March 3, 2020 11:10-12:00 noon Free & open to the public Centenary College of Louisiana Bynum Commons, Whited Room

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  • Tuesday ,
    MarMarch  3 , 2020
     
     
    2020 Van Thyn Lecture 2 of 2

    Tuesday, Mar 3rd 7:10p to 8:00p
    "Five Shots from the Ravine: Photographs of the Holocaust in Ukraine, 1942" Dr. Valerie Hébert’s presentation examines a series of five photographs documenting the mass shooting of Jewish women and children during World War II. The searing content of the photographs makes them nearly unbearable to look at. Then why should we? Proceeding from the scholarship on memorial culture and practice, as well as from consideration of Jewish religious rituals around death and dying, this talk will discuss how and why we should continue to engage these images. Photographs depicting violence and death will be shown during this lecture. Viewer discretion is advised. March 3, 2020 7-8pm Free & open to the public Centenary College of Louisiana Bynum Commons, Whited Room

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  • Friday ,
    MarMarch  6 , 2020
     
     
    Purim & Simcha Shabbat

    Friday, Mar 6th 6:00p to 7:00p
    A wonderful new musical Purim Schpiel will be presented during the special Purim service at B'nai Zion. We will also honor and bless everyone with birthdays or anniversaries in March.

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  • Sunday ,
    MarMarch  8 , 2020
    Shreveport Jewish Purim Carnival
    Sunday, Mar 8th 11:00a to 1:30p
    Fun and food for the Shreveport Jewish community to celebrate Purim. Come in costume or come as you are. The carnival will be from 11 AM to 1:30 PM. This event is sponsored by the North Louisiana Jewish Federation. PLEASE RSVP at the Events page at www.JewishNLa.org

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  • Tuesday ,
    MarMarch  10 , 2020
     
     
    Hadassah Shower of Dollars: Special Speaker Event

    Tuesday, Mar 10th 6:30p to 8:30p
    The Hadassah Shower of Dollars this year will be held 6:30-8:30 PM Tuesday, March 10. The guest speaker will be Randy Grigsby, author of "A Train to Palestine: the The Tehran Children, Anders' Army and their Escape from Stalin's Siberia, 1939–1943." Mr. Grigsby will discuss details from his book, and the fact that the founder of Hadassah, Henrietta Szold helped many of these children be brought to what would soon be the modern State of Israel.

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  • Friday ,
    MarMarch  13 , 2020
     
     
    Hadassah Shabbat 6 PM at B'nai Zion

    Friday, Mar 13th 6:00p to 7:30p
    The women of the Shreveport Hadassah Chapter will lead Shabbat Evening service at B'nai Zion. There will not be a service at Agudath Achim so that we can worship together for this event. Both B'nai Zion and Agudath Achim Yahrzeits and announcements will be read during the service. Join us for a special Oneg Shabbat hosted by the Shreveport Chapter of Hadassah following services.

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  • Wednesday ,
    MarMarch  18 , 2020
     
     
    Early Bird Reservation Deadline for the BZ Passover Seder

    Wednesday, Mar 18th 12:05a to 11:55p
    Make your reservation by March 18 for the best prices for this year's Passover Seder at B'nai Zion. The Seder will be Wednesday, April 8. Rabbi Jana will lead the Seder and the Sisterhood will provide the meal. Regular price deadline is March 25, with additional fees added after the deadline.

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  • Wednesday ,
    MarMarch  25 , 2020
     
     
    Reservation Deadline for the BZ Passover Seder

    Wednesday, Mar 25th 12:05a to 11:55p
    Make your reservation by April 5 for regular prices for this year's Passover Seder at B'nai Zion. The Seder will be Friday, April 19. Rabbi Jana will lead the Seder and the Sisterhood will provide the meal. Additional fees will be added after the deadline.

    MORE INFO

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Thu, February 27 2020 2 Adar 5780